Conditionals, Generic Quantifiers, and Other Applications of Subgames

  • Jaakko Hintikka
  • Lauri Carlson
Part of the Synthese Language Library book series (SLAP, volume 3)


In examining the interrelations of use and meaning, one of the most promising testing grounds is constituted by the theory of conditional sentences in natural languages. On this ground the differences between different approaches to meaning and those between the several uses of “use” have clashed dramatically, and yet left many of the principal problems unresolved. The truth-functional analysis of “if—then” sentences is as interesting an example of an approach to meaning by means of recursive truth-characterizations as one can hope to find. Yet it has run into a sharp criticism from those philosophers of language whose paradigm of meaning-giving use is usage, i.e., intralinguistic use. These philosophers are sometimes misleadingly called ordinary-language philosophers. However, they have likewise failed to solve many of the most interesting questions concerning the actual behavior of conditionals in natural languages. The initial problems we shall be dealing with in this work are cases in point. Hence the field is wide open for new approaches.


Generic Quantifier Winning Strategy Universal Quantifier Existential Quantifier Game Rule 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaakko Hintikka
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lauri Carlson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Academy of FinlandFinland
  2. 2.Stanford UniversityUSA

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